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Mentorship Clearinghouse: A Resource for Faculty and Academic Leaders

This page has been created as a centrally-located and managed Clearinghouse of resources about mentorship for early and mid-career faculty.  The Clearinghouse provides faculty and University leaders easy access to mentorship-related best practices, scholarly research and mentoring programs that have been implemented by institutional peers and aspirational peers. 

The Clearinghouse hosts general information about mentoring.  It also features resources to facilitate the creation and maintenance of mentoring communities that best support underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, those with disabilities, women and other marginalized faculty groups. 

The Benefits of Mentorship

Traditional mentoring in academics is often defined as a relationship in which a more senior scholar offers knowledge, career-related advice and professional guidance to those more junior.  The goal of the relationship is to support the ability of more junior scholars, early- and/or mid-career, to navigate the workplace and build a record of achievement that facilitates advancement.  Relationships need not mirror this traditional form.  Increasingly, other forms have been implemented such as multiple mentors, group mentorship and rotating mentor relationships.

There are other benefits to these relationships, regardless of the form.  They create and sustain an inclusive intellectual workspace, where those typically marginalized or are numerical minorities (e.g. underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, international faculty, those with disabilities, LGBTQ+, etc.) have connections to colleagues that otherwise may be a challenge to establish. 

These mentoring relationships, whether formal or informal, are integral to faculty career accomplishment.  Scholars are most innovative and productive when they are a part of a vibrant, supportive and diverse intellectual community where ideas are freely exchanged and shared with encouraging colleagues.  

We know from our personal lives as parents, partners, neighbors and friends that healthy and good relationships require attention, commitment and effort from those involved.  The same is true in our work environment.

Productive Mentorship

Productive mentor/mentee relationships are not unidirectional, nor are they simply common sense. Good connections demand that mentors and mentees work to maintain an open dialogue, build trust and practice mutual investment of time and attention.  Mentors impart professional expertise, advice and constructive critique of elements related to career advancement.  At the same time, fellows are expected to offer their own ideas, perspectives, knowledge and experiences that enhance the interests, concerns, projects and goals of both parties.

Community building for success is at the essence of the Mentorship Clearinghouse.  It is a developing and living resource.  Its content will expand as it is updated with new items that encourage Penn State Colleges, Campuses, Departments and senior faculty to be more intentional about how we include and support our diversity of colleagues. 

Faculty and Penn State leaders are encouraged to visit often.   Items placed in the Clearinghouse are reviewed by Faculty Pathway's Senior Faculty Mentors and selected for your consideration.  Senior Faculty Mentors welcome feedback and ask that you send recommendations, this includes items to add to the Clearinghouse to seniorfacultymtr@psu.edu.

Information to be made available.